Winnie Harlow, Daniela Braga and More Models Talk Inclusivity in Fashion
"It's about time. Diversity is everything," Maria Borges told The Hollywood Reporter. "It doesn't matter if you're white, black, orange — we should all have the same opportunities."
September's glossy magazine covers were remarkably inclusive, featuring several black actors, activists and musicians. From Beyonce on American Vogue and Tiffany Haddish on Glamour to Kanye West and his children on the cover of Harper's Bazaar, diverse talent graced covers that are widely considered the highest-profile in fashion.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter's Evan Real at the Harper's Bazaar Icons New York Fashion Week event, Winnie Harlow, Daniela Braga, Maria Borges and more models shared their thoughts on the current state of diversity in the industry.
"I think, especially it being September covers, is a big statement of change. And I think, obviously, you can't take one step forward and 10 steps back," said Harlow, who appeared on the September cover of Marie Claire Brazil. "So, I hope that this statement continues."
Victoria's Secret stunner and Elle May 2017 cover star Borges told THR that "it's about time." She continued, "Diversity is everything. It doesn't matter if you're white, black, orange — we should all have the same opportunities."
Christian Siriano, whose inclusive approach to fashion has made him a favorite among Hollywood — he's dressed everyone from Uzo Aduba to Cardi B — said fashion's recent surge of inclusivity is "awesome."
"Nicki Minaj was on the cover of Vogue Arabia in my gown, and I think it's awesome. In fashion, we just need to support people," the designer said. "Who cares what you are? Just support people."
Braga — whose E! reality series Model Squad explores the struggles women of color face in fashion — said that while she is "very happy things are changing," the industry still has a long way to go.
"As a Latina, this industry is … kind of racist [for] myself and a lot of black people. Most of my friends are black, too, and it's not the same. For the whole year, two covers are for black people, but all the rest are all white. It's just like, 'Seriously?'" she said. "It's changing a lot now, but I think we have a long path to go until we get there."
Braga's Model Squad co-star Devon Windsor echoed similar sentiments. "There's never enough diversity. I think until it's 100 percent equality for everybody, nobody's ever going to be happy with that," she said. "I think that we're making great strides, but there's so much more to be done."
The Icons event was presented by Estee Lauder, Infor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Fujifilm Instax, Genesis and Stella Artois.